How to apply for PRSI/ health levy refunds

CARMEL O'BRIEN FCCA, AITI

Published 09/11/2011 | 10:21

THERE has been a lot of discussion in the public domain recently suggesting that workers' PRSI was incorrectly calculated by their employers. This is not correct. But there are circumstances where employers/ Revenue/department of Social Protection were not properly informed when setting up your payroll details. Therefore it is possible that you may be due a PRSI refund.

Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) and Health Levy are deducted at source by your employer. We will discuss PRSI and the Health Levy separately. Since January 1 last the Universal Social Charge (USC) has replaced the Health Levy and the Income Levy.

There are many reasons why a person may be entitled to PRSI or Health Levy Refunds.

HEALTH LEVY

You are due a Health Levy refund if:

1. Your gross income (income before deductions; tax, levies etc.) was less than €26,000 in a calendar year, or

2. You were in receipt of a social welfare payment (widow's pension, deserted wife's benefit, oneparent family payment etc.) and you incorrectly paid health contributions, or

3. You held a medical card and you incorrectly paid health contributions, or

4. You were a PAYE taxpayer and you have made a private contribution into a pension fund, which was not made through your salary.

PRSI

You are due a PRSI refund if:

1. You are in the wrong PRSI class e.g. if you are over 66 years or under 16 years.

2. You were in receipt of a social welfare benefit e.g. a maternity benefit.

3. You are a PAYE taxpayer and you have made a private contribution into a pension fund which was not made through your salary. How do I apply for a Prsi/health Levy Refund?

Simply write a letter to the Department of Social Protection (address given below) and give the following details: 1. Your name & address 2. Your PPS number

3. Reasons why you think you may be due a refund e.g. you were in receipt of a social welfare payment etc.

Send this information to: PRSI Refunds Section

Department of Social Protection Oisin House 212-213 Pearse Street Dublin 2 If you made a private contribution to a pension fund, this is a special category and requires a form to be completed. This can be printed off the Revenue website www.revenue.ie

Site Search – Refund PRSI; then click on – Application for PRSI Refund in respect of Pension Contribution. Complete this form and send to the address on the form i.e. the Collector General

Note: Refunds of PRSI and health levies on pension contributions ceased from January 1, 2011 as directed by Budget 2011.

FURTHER POINTS

Unfortunately you can only claim a refund back to 2007 (at present). If you delay in sending your claim until next year you will only be able to claim back as far as 2008 (limit of four years).

If you are unsure as to whether you may be entitled to a PRSI refund, you could send the letter to the Department of Social Protection and the PRSI section will check your records.

If you have made a private contribution to a pension fund and you have given your documents to an accountant to prepare your tax return, check with your accountant that a PRSI claim was made. Most accountants look after your tax affairs only, whereas PRSI is a social welfare deduction.

Do remember that you will only get a refund of Prsi/health Levies if you have paid the levy in the first place (i.e. you cannot get a refund of something you did not pay)

The Department of Social Protection have confirmed to us that they are receiving 1,000 letters per day in this regard, and there is a back log of approximately three months.

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